Cozy Wednesday With Beth Groundwater (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

In 2011 I chose Beth Groundwater’s A Real Basket Case (A Claire Hanover Mystery) as the Best Mystery I had read that year. You can find my full review here.

I then contacted her and she sent me the first book in her other series, Deadly Currents (An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery). My review for that one is here. When I found out the second RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery, Wicked Eddies was being released this month, I knew I had to invite her to stop by for a visit. These mysteries are not technically cozies, they are more mystery adventures, but if you love cozies, I think you will love these books. They have a little more edge and the main character works with law enforcement to help solve the crime, plus Beth’s knowledge of rafting and fishing makes these extraordinary reads. I hope you will join me in welcoming Beth here today!

Hi Beth!

Hi Everyone!

Thanks, Dollycas, for inviting me to visit your blog!

The Most Dangerous Sport

I’d like to talk today about the most dangerous sport. Since my RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery series features whitewater rafting and stars a whitewater river ranger named Mandy Tanner, you and your blog readers may think that I mean the sport of whitewater rafting. But, you’d be wrong!

Yes, whitewater rafting can be risky, but smart rafters know how to control and manage those risks. Also, the number of participants in the sport are few, compared to many other popular sports such as baseball and football, so the total number of rafting deaths per year is usually fairly low. Actually, the most dangerous sport in the world, the one that results in the most deaths per year, is fishing.

Fishing?! Yes, fishing.

Why, you might ask. Primarily it’s from the volatile mixture of booze and boats. Yes, there are many cases of drunken fishermen who fall out of boats and drown. Or who, like drunken drivers, crash their motorboats.

There are other causes of fishing-related deaths, though. In Wicked Eddies,the second book of my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series that was released May 8th, the cause of one fisherman’s death is murder. Mandy Tanner discovers the body of fisherman Howie Abbott in a riverside campground with a camping ax in his neck. Turns out the man was a suspected cheater in fly-fishing tournaments and a big tournament is scheduled to take place soon on the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado, where Mandy lives. Could that have been the cause of his death? Or was there some other other reason?

Back to other causes of fishing deaths. Here’s an excerpt from an early scene in Wicked Eddies, where Mandy’s boss, Steve Hadley, is briefing a group of search and rescue personnel, including river rangers, on the upcoming fly-fishing tournament:

When Steve’s turn came, he started off with a question, “What’s one of the most deadly sports in the world?”

Mandy knew the answer, but stayed quiet. Someone yelled out, “whitewater rafting,” a good guess, but not good enough.

“It’s fishing,” Steve said, nodding while surprised murmurs filled the room, “usually from the fatal combination of boats, alcohol, and people who don’t know how to swim. Now, given that we have serious competitors participating in this event, I expect that alcohol won’t play a large part until after the award ceremony.”

A few snorts and chuckles punctuated that remark.

Fly Fishing on the Arkansas Near Salida, Colorado

“However,” Steve continued, “we still have boats on the float- fishing practice and competition days giving us the same problems whitewater rafting boats do—hitting underwater obstacles and pitching their occupants into the water. And most of these teams are unfamiliar with the upper Arkansas, its rapids, and its hazards. So, I’m increasing river ranger patrols on the river during the competition.

“And then there are wading fishermen on the shore fishing days.” Steve shook his head and tsked. “I hate waders. As the old- timers know, we usually have at least one fly-fisherman die each season, from either getting a foot trapped or tripping while standing in the river wearing waders. The fisherman falls in the river, the waders fill up with water, dragging the wearer underwater, and then he drowns.”

A solemn silence descended on the group.

Yes, fishermen face many hazards in their sport! Along with working with the Sheriff’s Department to investigate Howie Abbott’s

murder, Mandy Tanner will be kept busy with her river ranger cohorts patrolling the river during the tournament and rescuing fishermen who need help. She’ll also be on the lookout for a missing teenage girl and a missing fisherman. My hope is that all of that activity and a healthy sprinkling of clues and red herrings makes for an exciting read!

Have you ever tried fishing? Did you get in any trouble or experience any dangers while doing so? I was lucky myself. When I took a fly-fishing lesson to research Wicked Eddies, the only harm I came to was when I managed to hook my thumb. 😉


Thank you Beth so much for being here today! I used to fish with my grandpa when I was little, catching bullheads in a nearby lake. Such wonderful memories with my bamboo pole, bobs, night crawlers and PBJ’s for lunch. 🙂 So I do share one thing with Mandy.

About Beth Groundwater:

Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A Real Basket Case, a Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and To Hell in a Handbasket ) and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner (Deadly Currents,March, 2011, and Wicked Eddies, May, 2012). The third books in both series will appear in 2013. Beth enjoys Colorado’s many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs. Please visit her website at and her blog at

Wicked Eddies
(An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery)

2nd in the Series
Published by Midnight Ink
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

Salida Colorado is getting ready for its annual fly fishing tournament. The river rangers are checking all the spots up and down the mighty Arkansas River making sure everything is ready for the participants. Mandy thinks it should be a busy weekend but it shouldn’t be too dangerous. Then she finds the dead body, would-be competitor Howie Abbott and it wasn’t a fish that drove that hatchet through his neck.

As Mandy searches for clues she finds out Howie Abbott is Cynthia’s uncle and her least favorite person on earth. She is not surprised when Cynthia becomes a prime suspect but she knows her friend is not a murderer. She takes in upon herself to find the real killer while being careful not to be carried away by the undertow or plunges too deep into Wicked Eddies.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth Groundwater writes what she knows. You can tell that by the way she writes. She takes us on a wild ride!

Cynthia was my favorite supporting character in Deadly Currents and she is center stage in this installment. She is so upset she is not even telling the blonde jokes that I loved. The author reveals Cynthia’s past and we get to see the person behind the jokes. The vulnerable Cynthia, a person I grew to care even more about.

Mandy is dealing with a lot in this story as well. She is still coming to terms with her own uncle’s death and trying to move forward which we know is never easy. Rob makes me a little mad as he continues to push her at times for his own agenda. Sometimes guys just don’t have a clue.

There are a couple of mysteries here, murder and missing persons along with the adventure of the fishing tournament that makes this a very fast paced story. Plenty of clues and plenty of distractions to keep the pages turning as we try to solve the mysteries ourselves.

You do not have to fish or ride the rapids to be hooked by this adventure, but you want to start after reading it! 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I am giving away my gently read review copy!!

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Beth for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

38 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday With Beth Groundwater (Giveaway too!)

  1. This sounds like a great series. I think I will start with the book that Dollycas listed as her fav of that year – A Real Basket Case – and then read the new series.

  2. When I was growing up, we had a house on the banks of a canal off the Raritan River with a small dock. I used to go out there fishing…always threw the fish back. But it was fun to sit out there and just idle away the time. Can’t wait to try this series.

  3. Fascinating, Beth. I always pictures equine sports as high on the danger list, but we’ll go with fishing. 😉 Wicked Eddies is next on my to read pile!

  4. Thanks for your comments, Dee, Linda, and Sheila!

    Dee, I hope you’ll read To Hell in a Handbasket, too, which is the second book in the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series. Linda, fly fishers practice catch-and-release, too, so the fish are there for future fishers. To catch fish for eating, they tend to go to lakes vs rivers. Sheila, skydiving and whitewater rafting are dangerous, too, but like equine sports, there’s probably a lot less alcohol involved than in fishing. 😉

  5. This is another interesting subject to write a mystery about. It reminds me somewhat of the Anna Pigeon series, other outdoors related mysteries. I would be very interested in reading about Mandy and her job as a river ranger!

  6. I freely admit to being a chicken and have never white water rafted. I leave that to my eldest son and his family. Even my 7yr old grandson has done it. In fact he even has his own wall climbing gear.

    I will also admit that if I am the lucky winner, I will gift wrap this book as a gift to my son.

  7. Beth is a fantastic writer. Thanks for the fun excerpt and for having Beth as a guest. I can’t wait to read this book!

  8. You’re probably right, Beth, although I new a guy years ago who showed jumpers and always had a flask on his belt – someone asked him once in front of me if he thought that was a good idea and he said, “You don’t think I’d ride a 900 pound animal over 5′ walls sober, do you?” 😉

  9. Thanks for your comments, Mary Ann, Nora-Adrienne, Chris, and Kathleen!

    Yes, Mary Ann, I classify this series in the outdoor-oriented category with those by Nevada Barr, CJ Box, William Kent Krueger, Dana Stabenow, etc. My series is soft-boiled, though, so it doesn’t get into as much of what I call “icky stuff” as Nevada Barr’s and CJ Box’s series do.

    Nora-Adrienne, here’s your chance to try whitewater rafting and fly-fishing from the comfort and safety of your easy chair!

    <> Thanks for the compliment, Chris!

    Snicker, Sheila. I guess you can find someone who will attempt almost any sport or activity while being drunk or stoned, but I won’t give them any points for having brains!

    Kathleen, I hope you’ll read the two books in the series, DEADLY CURRENTS and WICKED EDDIES, whether or not you win the contest!

    Okay, folks, I’m caught up on comments now. Bring some more on!
    – Beth

  10. I haven’t been fishing since I was a kid/teen. I liked fishing with bobbers, but found any other kind of fishing boring. Plus I hated baiting the hook. I usually could get one of my brothers to do it for me. As an adult I really don’t have any desire to fish, although white water rafting would be so fun. I’d love to go canoeing again too. Thanks for the chance to win your book. I love mysteries.

  11. I was not aware that fishing was ranked so high in terms of sports related deaths. Makes sense though, drunk folks falling overboard or wrecking their boats. People going out when the weather’s too bad or not checking their boating gear correctly. Too bad really but you have to respect the water when you go out on it. Mother nature is not merciful.

  12. Waving at both Beth and Lori. Hubby and I went white water rafting a few years ago as senior citizens!! It was fantastic. AS for fishing, I love to fish, but it’s usually from a dock or a troller. Great post, Beth. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

  13. Thanks for your comments, Amanda, Amy, Carl, and Liz! Amy, the modern fly fishers call a bobber a “strike indicator” now, and they use artificial lures, or make them themselves, so no worms! Carl, there’s almost no force more powerful than moving water, and people have drowned in little over than a foot of fast-moving water because of foot entrapment. If you get a foot trapped in rocks on a river bottom, the force of the water can push you over and you won’t have the strength to hold your head above water against the rushing water for long. Liz, whitewater rafting can be a hoot at any age, as long as you’re a good swimmer, follow the rafting guide’s instructions, and don’t panic if you get accidentally pitched into the river.

  14. Thanks for entering the giveaway, Ruth and Yvonne, and I hope you’ll give the series a try, too, with either the first book, DEADLY CURRENTS, or the second one, WICKED EDDIES. Here’s a review quote to give you a nudge. 😉

    “Once again, Groundwater, mixing mystery with outdoor adventure, comes up with an excursion that will please most comers.” — Kirkus Review, May 1, 2012

  15. In the late 40s my family and out-of-state family portaged in by seaplane at Ely MN for a week of fishing. Fond memories! Must put your books on my wishlist.

  16. A murder mystery and outdoor adventure–sounds like an exciting book.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. I hope to read this outdoor adventure mystery. I love to fish. I do not catch much:(. It is a way to find peace and quiet. I have not tried the skilled sports. This series is on my TBR list too!
    Thank you for the awesome giveaway:)

  18. I am not much of a fisher-woman…I prefer to read while out in the boat. Can’t wait to read this one!!

  19. I love fishing! i haven’t been fly fishing yet, but i’ve always wanted to try..

  20. Thanks, Karen, Margie, Victoria, Cyndee, Vickie, and mammabunny13, for your comments and contest entries!

    Karen, that family seaplane fishing trip does sound like a great time! Cyndee, unfortunately, you won’t find much peace and quiet in WICKED EDDIES! 😉 And Vickie, I’m with you. After trying fly-fishing, I really didn’t see the appeal. I think I’ll join the legion of fishermen’s wives (many of whom I’ve seen) who tuck into a good book on the shore or in the boat while their husbands spend hours casting.

  21. Hi Beth, I have added your books to my wish list and you are a new author to me. I love mystery, suspense and romance all rolled into story. I am sure I will love reading your books.

    My fav fishing time was when my son was 3 yrs old and we would roll bread into ball and bait his hook. He was so excited when he caught his first fish but it was to small and we had to toss it back.
    Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.

  22. so looking forward to reading Wicked Eddies, tho i guess i should read DeadlyCurrents first, huh?!?!? LOL!!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!!!

  23. Even though I don’t fish I know I would enjoy this series. It sounds really good!

  24. I love to read about these activities, unfortunately, I get seasick in the bathtub, so no rafting for me. Used to do a lot of fishing with my father. Not as much fun since he is gone.

  25. I love to read peoples opinions of books and the run downs of what they have written! I hope I will get this copy of the book so I can spread the word myself!

  26. This looks like a really fun series. I love Beth’s other series so I will have to check this one out. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂


  27. Sounds like a terrific mystery. I will definitely have to put your books on my list of books I want to read. Thanks for this chance to win one.

  28. I enjoyed Deadly Currents and I’m looking forward to reading Wicked Eddies. Thanks.

  29. I love the Claire Hanover books and look forward to reading about Beth’s new characters.

Comments are closed.